BY RYAN ABER
It had been awhile since Linus Omark had scored four goals in a game, much less five.
“In juniors I think,” Omark said after scoring five in the Barons 7-6 shootout win over Toronto on Sunday night.
Omark said he was about 17 or 18 the last time he’d scored that many in a game and had to stretch back much further for the last time he scored more.
“My tenth birthday I got 18,” the 23-year-old Swede said.
Unsurprisingly, Omark was named the Reebok American Hockey League Player of the Week on Monday.
Omark scored the Barons last five goals in regulation, then scored another in the shootout that was needed to extend the contest.
Barons captain Ben Ondrus has been in the middle of most of the recent five-goal games in the AHL.
Ondrus was on the Marlies when Jiri Tlusty scored five for Toronto on Feb. 18, 2009, the last time it happened in the league. He was also on the St. John’s Maple Leafs when Kyle Wellwood scored five in 2004.
Taylor happy to be back
While the Barons were on their successful 4-1 road trip recently, defenseman Jake Taylor remained back in Oklahoma City as he worked his way back from an upper body injury.
Taylor initially pinpointed last Friday’s return home as his return date but the way the team was playing kept him on the bench for the first two games back.
But Taylor returned Sunday, starting in the Barons win over Toronto.
“It was great to be back,” Taylor said. “Getting injured early in the season like that is pretty tough because you’re just starting to get your feet back under you and feeling good about things.”
Taylor hadn’t played since the third game of the season.
After the game, Taylor said he felt close to 100 percent.
While Taylor is back healthy, winger Philippe Cornet has been an unhealthy scratch during the homestand with an undisclosed injury.
Weekend takes it toll
Barons coach Todd Nelson knew going into Sunday’s game that it might not be the best display of hockey.
Both the Barons and Toronto entered the game playing the final night of the three-games-in-three-night stretches that mark the weekend-heavy AHL’s schedules.
For the most part, it lived up to that.
“These games kind of happen three and three,” Nelson said. “Both teams are tired.”
But even with less than their best performance–save the Omark, Liam Reddox and Ryan O’Marra line–the Barons won for the sixth time in seven games.
“As a coaching staff, I think we had to get the defibrillator out,” Nelson said. “The best thing about tonight is the guys had the will to win. We worked hard, put up 50 shots on net but we also made some bad mistakes.
“But our guys could’ve shut it down after 4-1. They could’ve shut it down after 5-3 and they could’ve shut it down after 6-4 but they had the will and they stuck with it.”
Omark’s 10 goals have him tied with Portland’s Luke Adam for the AHL lead. … The Barons will offer $1 beer at tonight’s game. … Martin Gerber has won six consecutive starts and leads the league in wins (8), minutes (738) and saves (315). … The Barons have three players in the top 20 in the league in scoring (Omark, Reddox and Alexandre Giroux). No other team has more than two. … Defenseman Shawn Belle is the leading scorer in the AHL among defensemen, with a goal and 12 assists.